Continuance: The Next Little Thing

As technology has “gone nano”, the gadgets that make our lives more convenient (or at least more interesting) have certainly funneled money into the coffers of the companies that make AA batteries. Some devices, like our cell phones, can be recharged with an AC power cord. But most digital cameras and camcorders require those same little batteries that enraged Cleveland Browns fans enjoy throwing at the referees on Sunday afternoons.

Assault on Batteries

Battery manufacturers have tried for years to improve their products in hopes of capturing market share. First came the nickel cadmium battery, supposedly better than the old alkaline ones, although you seldom hear glowing testimonials to that effect. Then they trotted out early versions of rechargeables, so instead of paying for new batteries, you just sent more money to your local power company. The latest innovation is the lithium ion battery. Other than a couple of small fires, those have done a better job that their predecessors.

Creative Technology

With USB devices assuming a larger role in life’s everyday functions, it only made sense that someone would find a way to integrate a USB port with a AA battery. Now on the techno-horizon, the Continuance USB Rechargeable AA Battery (created by Xiameng Hu, Hailong Piao and Haimo Bao) has been hailed as not only a breakthrough in the field of USB accessories, but as a step forward in green technology. Of course, the voltage in the AA battery had to be ramped up to make it work, but it appears that the Continuance will in fact be a battery into which one can plug a USB-powered device.

The beauty of the Continuance battery is that it can be charged up by the computer itself through the USB port. Once fully funded and put into mass production, the Continuance could lead to an even greater expansion of USB devices than what we’ve already seen. As the inventors of Continuance might say, more power to you!

About the author

Daniel Rubin Daniel Rubin is the co-owner of USB Direct Inc., a Canadian company which specializes in the manufacturing of logo flash drives. You can view his .

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